IBM SoftLayer Adds Enterprise Cloud Storage Options

Block and file storage now available in addition to object storage

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

March 25, 2015

1 Min Read
IBM 2009 CeBIT
A young woman walks past the IBM logo at the 2009 CeBIT technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

IBM SoftLayer has expanded the variety of enterprise cloud storage flavors available to its customers, adding block and file storage services for bare-metal and virtual cloud servers. Until now, the company offered object storage, customizable SAN- or NAS-like mass storage servers, and cloud backup.

While primary uses for object storage include storing objects like emails, images, or other media files, objects that remain unchanged and can be accessed quickly by applications, block storage volumes, treated like individual drives by operating systems, are more for high-performance apps that use dynamic data sets.

SoftLayer is offering two service tiers for each of the new enterprise cloud storage services: the high-durability Endurance tier, and the maximum-IOPS Performance tier. Endurance starts at $0.15 per Gibabyte. Performance starts at $0.10 per 1GB plus network charges.

SoftLayer CTO Marc Jones said the changes to the company’s cloud storage portfolio were meant to bring it in line with the diversity of workloads being deployed in the cloud today and their many unique storage needs. “When an application or data set is mission critical, it is important to be able to control as many dimensions of its storage as possible,” he said in a statement.

Block storage is a well-established product in the enterprise cloud storage market, available from SoftLayer’s major rivals.

Amazon Web Services has had its Elastic Block Store service since 2008. Google announced its Compute Engine Persistent Disk service at the same time it announced Compute Engine in 2013.

Microsoft Azure does not offer block storage exactly. It has its own approach to cloud storage, consisting of Blobs (for unstructured data), Tables (for structured NoSQL data), Queues (for messaging), and file storage.

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